65 money changers remanded in custody

Yeukai Karengezeka Court Correspondent

SIXTY FIVE suspected money changers who were arrested last week around Harare appeared in court yesterday and were further remanded in custody, while the court considers their oral and written applications for bail.

The suspects appeared before Harare magistrates Mr Dennis Mangosi and Mrs Ethel Chichera charged with contravening the Exchange Control Act.

Most orally applied for bail while those represented by lawyers, will make written submissions. The court indicated that it will start handing down bail rulings from tomorrow.

The State represented by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti, Mr Thomas Chanakira and Mr Takudzwa Jambawu opposed bail on grounds that the offence is a serious one that attracts a jail sentence on conviction.

On Friday, two of the accused were soliciting US dollars at Chisipite shopping centre and were spotted by a team of detectives on a surveillance patrol.

The detectives approached the two and posed as clients. Twins Tapiwa Nyamadzawo and Justice Nyamadzawo (24) negotiated with the detectives to pay ZiG15 for a US dollar with the detectives offering US$10 for sale.

The suspected changers would pay the ZiG150 into EcoCash. Tapiwa then made a transaction and transferred ZiG150 into an account furnished to him by the detectives and both accused were arrested.

Searches were carried out on the accused persons leading to the recovery of a Tecno cellphone dual SIM, CBZ debit card, NMB debit card and US$465 in cash from Tapiwa.

From Justice, police recovered an Omari debit card, an NMB point of sale machine, a CABS debit card, and US$124 cash, all supporting evidence that the pair were illegally dealing in foreign currency.

Other accused before the courts are Collen Matirinde (42), Terrence Vangaridze (28), Lovemore Duri (22), Johnson Kamhuka (29), Malvin Marere (22), Webster Kunomga, Francis Kaunda, Takudzwa Musonza and Aleck Kasi.

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